Tips How To Take Candid Shots

Tips How To Take Candid Shots  
Aug 9, 2016  

Candid photography is photography that focuses on spontaneity rather than technique. Your subject's focus is not on the camera, but on their current task. So we're not talking about the photo albums full of people looking at the camera and smiling here! Your subjects are not posed and the shots are unplanned.
Candid photos are usually simple photos without a lot of technical equipment or any time taken setting up the shot. Thus they capture some wonderful slices of life with their effective photography.
Here are some tips for taking candid photos:

  • Keep subjects at ease. If you're going to try to shoot candid photos, you're going to want your subjects to be at ease with the camera. Some people naturally will be apprehensive around a camera or may act out of the ordinary, both of which are undesirable for candid photography. Carry the camera around and shoot photos for around 20 minutes before attempting candid photos, just to allow the subjects to relax and act natural around the camera.
  • Take your camera everywhere you go. Keep alert for candid situations - they can be found everywhere.
  • It's rare to get a second chance with candid photography. When you see an opportunity, grab it.
  • Don't use complicated lighting techniques for taking your candid shots. Concentrate on the simple and use your camera's automatic features. Technical problems don't matter so much if you have a great candid photo.
  • Set your camera to "ISO 400" so it uses a fast shutter speed. This will help you grab the shot even if you are moving.
  • The best candid photographers blend into the background, so don't be too obvious. Do what everyone else is doing so you fit in with the situation. Then when you see a good candid moment, bring your camera up to your eye.
  • You don't always need to take the shot with your camera at eye level. Support your camera on your waist when taking the photo. Some luck or experience is needed here to get the framing right.
  • Use your zoom lens to its fullest extent so you can keep away from the action while taking your shot. A telephoto lens is essential if you're going to be a fair distance away.
  • Never take photos of people's backs. Nothing is more boring than a group of people with all backs turned to the camera. It just doesn't work.
  • Try converting the image to black and white to get that extra punch and emotion.
  • People 'doing things' make the best candid photos. Sports players, trades people, farmers and accountants are all excellent examples of subjects with things to do.
  • Try to capture the essence of the person's task. For example, you might capture a plumber concentrating on fixing a leaky pipe.